Upcoming AMD Radeon HD5870 GPU – With BITSTREAM Support

Have you been eager for bitstreaming your blu-ray discs in your HTPC but can’t see yourself spending several hundred dollars on a sound card to do it? Well, you’re in luck (at least come November) as Anandtech has a preview of the next generation of ATI Graphics cards which will include Bitstreaming the HD formats, along with a variety of other new features. Let’s hope Intel and Nvidia are soon to follow and then we can really have some fun!


For a while I’d heard that ATI was dropping 8-channel LPCM support from RV870 because of cost issues. Thankfully, those rumors turned out to be completely untrue. Not only does the Radeon HD 5870 support 8-channel LPCM output over HDMI like its predecessor, but it can now also bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. It is the first and only video card to be able to do this, but I expect others to follow over the next year. The Radeon HD 5870 is first and foremost a card for gamers, so unless you’re building a dual-purpose HTPC, this isn’t the one you’re going to want to use. If you can wait, the smaller derivatives of the RV870 core will also have bitstreaming support for TrueHD/DTS-HD MA. If you can’t and have a deep enough HTPC case, the 5870 will work.